Turkey, Middle East

'Turkey will resolutely protect its borders, people'

Vice president's remarks follow Monday's rocket attack in Turkey's southeast which injured 6 people, including child

Mumin Altas   | 23.07.2019
'Turkey will resolutely protect its borders, people' Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay speaks during the Turkey-Uzbekistan Business Forum in Ankara, Turkey on July 23, 2019. ( Halil Sağırkaya - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA 

Turkey will resolutely continue protecting its borders and people, the country's vice president said Tuesday in the wake of a rocket attack in Turkey's southeast which injured six people.

"Our armed forces immediately responded to the attack and from now on will respond with more severity," Fuat Oktay said at a Turkey-Uzbekistan Business Forum in Ankara. 

"Turkey will resolutely continue protecting its borders and people," he added.

Six people, including one child, were injured on Monday when one of two rockets fired from Syria hit a residential area in Ceylanpinar in the southeastern Sanliurfa province.

On Twitter, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said that in response to the attack seven targets were destroyed on the Syrian side.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Turkey has decried the cross-border threat from the terrorist groups Daesh and the PKK/YPG.

At least 319 people have lost their lives in Daesh terror attacks in Turkey, where the terror organization has targeted civilians in suicide bomb, rocket, and gun attacks, including cross-border attacks in 2016.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

Since 2016, Turkey has led two military operations in northern Syria to clear the region of terrorists, including those of the PKK/YPG and Daesh.


Turkey-Uzbekistan bilateral relations 

Oktay believed that Turkey-Uzbekistan Business Forum, which has brought together business communities of the two countries, will prove a milestone to begin a new era in their relations. 

Underlining deep-rooted ties between Turkish and Uzbek peoples, Oktay said both countries share civilization, history, language and culture. 

“In recent years, we are pleased to see that our relations with the friendly and brotherly country of Uzbekistan are positive and make concrete progress in every field,” said Turkey's vice president. 

He said the first meeting of the high-level strategic cooperation council will be held later this year in Turkey during the visit of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

The decision to form the council was made during the visit of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Uzbekistan in April, 2018. 

Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Elyor Ganiyev called for joint efforts to develop and strengthen relations between the two countries. 

“I believe that our relations based on mutual respect and trust will continue to develop in the interest of our two peoples,” Ganiyev said. 

He said the volume of trade between the two countries had reached $2.2 billion with an increase of 40% over previous year. “This is not satisfactory as our potential is much higher,” Ganiyev added. 

He called for taking urgent measures to increase trade volume to $5 billion annually. 

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz and Sibel Ugurlu

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